|This article is part of the FrackSwarm coverage of fracking.|
Gerry Baker is the associate director of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, an influential lobbying-like organization that does work on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, offshore drilling and other domestic oil and gas regulatory issues. Like IOGCC executive director Carl Michael Smith, Baker passed through the government-industry revolving door in landing his current job at IOGCC.
Baker began his career as managing editor and state capitol bureau chief for the Oklahoma Business News Company, leaving in 1979 to do public relations work for the next 12 years for oil company Kerr-McGee Corporation. Anadarko Petroleum purchased Kerr-McGee as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2006.
Thereafter, Baker “launched an independent consultancy – Corporate Consulting, Inc. – specializing in strategic communication planning and implementation for high profile clients,” reads his biography up on the Aspen Institute website. “In addition, he specialized in crisis communication management [and] Baker continues to provide these services for select clients.”
At the 1998 IOGCC annual meeting, Baker – while with Corporate Consulting, Inc. – gave a media training seminar. Corporate Consulting, Inc. was incorporated in Oklahoma in 1991 and got its most recent Certificate of Good Standing in July 2015. Baker began working for IOGCC in 2002 while the organization was pushing hard for the Halliburton Loophole's insertion into first the Energy Policy Act of 2003, then the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In 2011, Baker gave a talk at IOGCC’s annual meeting in on how to deal with the public's fear of fracking.
“When people do not get all of the information, or information is too technical, they begin to fill in the holes with what they can imagine,” he said in one of the early presentation slides. “The perceived risk, even if it isn’t a reality, makes hydraulic fracturing an emotional issue.”
Calling 911 on Reporter
In October 2015, Baker called the Oklahoma City Police Department 911 line when DeSmogBlog.com reporter Steve Horn visited the office of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to ask about for its stance on climate change. Horn had attended its annual meeting just days earlier and had told IOGCC he would be swinging by the office to ask about the issue.
Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission executive director Carl Michael Smith was in the office at the time, as was communications director Carol Booth. Neither of them answered the door and instead Baker reported Horn's activities as "suspicious" to the police. No arrests arose from the incident, which was recorded and the 911 call audio, as well as the incident report, were published online by DeSmogBlog.com.
Articles and Resources
- Lisa Song, InsideClimate News, Is the IOGCC, Created by Congress in 1935, Now a Secret Oil and Gas Lobby?, April 11, 2016
- Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog, Introducing IOGCC: The Most Powerful Oil and Gas Lobby You’ve Never Heard Of, April 11, 2016
- Jesse Coleman, EnergyDesk Greenpeace USA, Inside the IOGCC: The shadow lobbyists fighting fracking regulation, April 12, 2016
- Will Koop, British Columbia Tap Water Alliance, Frack EU: Unconventional Intrigue in Poland - Mr. Smith’s Mission: The Interstate Oil And Gas Compact Commission Comes to Europe, January 23, 2012
- Public Accountability Initiative, LittleSis Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission Profile
- Public Accountability Initiative, LittleSis Gerry Baker Profile
- Public Accountability Initiative, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Fracking Waste Exemption
- Public Accountability Initiative, LittleSis Carl Michael Smith Profile
- Center for Media and Democracy, SourceWatch Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
- Gerry Baker Biography
- Gerry Baker Biography
- IOGCC 1998 Annual Meeting, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
- Oklahoma Department of State Incorporation Form: Corporate Consulting, Inc.
- Oklahoma Department of State Certificate of Good Standing: Corporate Consulting, Inc.
- "Reaching Out to a Broad Audience", Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and FracFocus, October 17, 2011, accessed April 2016
- "Congress-backed Interstate Oil Commission Call Cops When Reporter Arrives To Ask About Climate" Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog.com, October 8, 2016, accessed April 2016